Katie Benzan leaves Harvard basketball

The calendar has not even turned to September and we have our first major development of the 2019-20 season.  The Harvard Crimson broke the news that rising senior Katie Benzan, a three-time first team All-Ivy guard, has decided to step away from the program and end her Ancient Eight career.

“Katie has been a remarkable player in our program for three years,” head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith said in a statement emailed to the paper. “After much discussion with the coaching staff, she has decided to step away her senior year.”

Read moreKatie Benzan leaves Harvard basketball

Harvard women’s basketball releases 2019-20 schedule

The dean of Ivy coaches, Kathy Delaney-Smith, announced the 2019-20 schedule for the Harvard women on Wednesday.  The season, her 38th at Harvard, includes 13 nonconference games with five matchups against teams that made the postseason in 2019.

Four of these teams, California, Quinnipiac, Rutgers, and Maine, made it to March Madness, while Hartford earned a spot in the WNIT.

Following the Nov. 5 season opener at Northern Illinois, the Crimson will welcome Cal to Lavietes Pavilion on the 8th.  The Golden Bears, previously coached by former Brown guard and present Cleveland Cavaliers assistant coach Lindsay Gottlieb, will look for revenge after Harvard upset the then-No. 14 team, 85-79, last December.

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Ivy hoops roundup – July 17, 2019

 

  • Ben Baskin of Sports Illustrated published a longform article Thursday on former Penn head coach Jerome Allen and his part in a recruitment scandal that saw the Ivy great accept money from a parent to place an unqualified student-athlete onto the school’s recruited athlete list.  The author wrote his article, which is available online and in the print edition, “with the aid of court transcripts and exhibits, financial records, news reports and interviews with three dozen of his friends, classmates, teachers, coaches, players, mentors and coworkers, many speaking anonymously for fear of personal and professional ramifications.”
    The article provided the following new information: During his playing career, Allen faced a series of civil suits over unpaid debts—$5,000 owed to a car-leasing company, $13,000 to a bank, $6,700 to a landlord.
    – While Allen was coaching Penn, the school sued him for nearly $25,000 for failing to pay off two decades of accrued interest on a loan he had taken out as a student

    Read moreIvy hoops roundup – July 17, 2019

Ivy hoops roundup – May 4, 2019

Another week full of Ivy news, with none bigger than Courtney Banghart’s move from Princeton to North Carolina.  The former Big Green All-Ivy guard and Tigers head coach signed a five-year contract to take over a Tar Heels program that needs a new start.  Per Jeff Gravely of WRAL in Raleigh, Banghart’s contract starts at $650,000 in 2019-2020 and increases to $730,000 in 2024-2025.  Athletic and academic bonuses are included that can increase the yearly salary by $10,000 to $470,000.

Read moreIvy hoops roundup – May 4, 2019

Ivy Madness: An appreciation

Constance Cotton and her son, Yale first-year guard Matthue Cotton, with Yale first-year forward Isaiah Kelly and his mother Beverly (from left), as they share a moment of familial celebration on the floor of the John J. Lee Amphitheater following the Bulldogs’ 97-85 championship victory over Harvard in Sunday’s Ivy League Tournament final. (Photo courtesy of Constance Cotton)

With the Yale men and the Princeton women winning their respective divisions on Sunday, another Ivy League Tournament is in the books.  Here are a few of my personal highlights that were not found on the television or the box scores:

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Ivy women’s semifinal recaps: Two blowouts lead to Penn-Princeton III squared

No. 1 Princeton 68 vs  No. 4 Cornell 47
No. 2 Penn 91 vs No. 3 Harvard 62

Read moreIvy women’s semifinal recaps: Two blowouts lead to Penn-Princeton III squared

More Ivy Madness media day tidbits

Tommy Amaker, Harvard men’s coach, on what he and his team have learned from their first two experiences in the Ivy League Tournament: “We’ve learned how hard it is (to win).  We learned how hard it is to play in tournament atmospheres, tournament environments.  We’ve played well, but haven’t been able to win the championship.  You need to be a little bit lucky as well as playing well.  We’re hopeful for both this weekend.”

Read moreMore Ivy Madness media day tidbits

Ivy League Women’s Tournament semifinal preview – No. 3 Harvard vs. No. 2 Penn

No. 3 Harvard (16-11, 9-5 Ivy) vs. No. 2 Penn (22-5, 12-2) Sat., 8:30 p.m. (estimated) ESPN3

Season Series – Split 1-1
2/16/19 at Harvard; Harvard wins 80-72 2OT
3/1/19 at Penn; Penn wins 75-70

Streaks
Penn: won four in a row and 13 of its last 15
Harvard: won two in a row and five of its last seven

Read moreIvy League Women’s Tournament semifinal preview – No. 3 Harvard vs. No. 2 Penn

Ivy women’s hoops Saturday review

Banghart earns win 250, Delaney Smith sticks at 599

In a matchup of two of the Ivy’s premier teams and coaches, the Tigers (18-9, 10-2 Ivy) came out on top of the Crimson (14-11, 7-5), 61-58, on Saturday night.  With the win, Princeton coach Courtney Banghart won the 250th game of her 12-year career.  Harvard’s Kathy Delaney-Smith, in her 37th year there, will have to wait one more weekend to try and capture the 600th win of her storied tenure.

In a defensive battle where both teams shot under 36 percent from the field, the Tigers were able to use its inside presence (11-for-15 vs 2-for-2 in free throws; 36 to 28 points in the paint) to offset Harvard’s league-leading outside game.  The Crimson, which entered the game shooting more than 33 percent from three and averaging over nine treys a game, finished the night making only six baskets at a 23 percent accuracy.

Read moreIvy women’s hoops Saturday review

Harvard’s Bryce Aiken returns to the court for the first time this season

Minutes before game time at Howard University on Monday afternoon, Harvard Basketball tweeted out the day’s second most important announcement from the D.C. campus – for the first time in 348 days, junior guard Bryce Aiken would be on the court for the Crimson.

Read moreHarvard’s Bryce Aiken returns to the court for the first time this season